DORCHESTER Town director Nigel Hayes has said the club are “very excited” after the club’s plans to install a 3G pitch at the Avenue Stadium moved a step closer.

It has been confirmed that the Magpies have received an offer from West Dorset District Council S106 (planning gain monies) for 50 per cent of the funding towards the pitch, leaving just £252,000 left to be raised.

If the money can be raised, the club would be aiming to install it in May 2018, and in an official statement, Hayes outlines the benefits of the installation.

He said: “We are very excited with the proposed 3G pitch, it is our ambition for the club to be used seven days a week, we have already seen an increase in meeting room and conference facility hires at the club this season, but a 3G would mean we could get up to 60 hours a week usage from the pitch.

“During the football season we would have Dorchester Town Youth training and playing at the stadium, meaning they would finally have a home to allow them to expand from the current 350 players spread over 24 teams. The club would look to develop the already successful Kixstart Walking Football and Ability Counts initiatives with more training slots available and capacity for hosting local and national tournaments.

“We can continue to grow the soccer schools that are already run at the stadium, but having a 3G allows us to run these in every school holiday with less reliance on the weather.

“In the off-season we can meet the demand for tournaments and charity matches, instead of currently trying to fit them all into one week before the grass pitch needs work.

“We will be setting up a Sports Diploma course for 16-18-year-olds, with practical lessons on the pitch on weekday mornings and theory lessons inside in the afternoons.

“A commercial six-a-side league will allow adult football, generating income to fund a new member of staff and an apprentice.

“We are working closely with Dorchester Town Council, 1610, West Dorset District Council and the Dorset FA to give the community opportunities to take part in sport, regardless of age, gender or ability and turn the club into a hub for the town and surrounding villages. We would like to thank councillors and the Duchy of Cornwall for their support with our Section 106 application, without which the project would not be possible.”


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